goal line stand preserves delaware overtime victory jmu 30 23
Sports

Goal-line stand preserves Delaware overtime victory over JMU, 30-23

jmu logoJames Madison overcame a pair fourth-quarter deficits to force overtime, only to fall to No. 25 Delaware 30-23 in Colonial Athletic Association football Saturday before 20,592 fans at Bridgeforth Stadium and Zane Showker Field.

Delaware (3-1, 1-0) had the first possession in the overtime period and took five plays to score when senior quarterback Trent Hurley tossed a four-yard strike just inside the front left cone to junior receiver Jerel Harrison.  The Dukes (2-3, 0-2) overcame a third-and-10 from the 25, but an ultimate fourth-and-goal from the one was turned back when the Delaware defense stopped freshman running back Taylor Woods (Havelock, N.C./Havelock) inches from the goal line.

Delaware scored the first points of the second half with a 28-yard field goal for a 16-6 lead as 8:09 remained in the fourth quarter.  JMU responded with a 13-play, 77-yard drive that ended when redshirt junior quarterbackVad Lee (Durham, N.C./Hillside/Georgia Tech) zipped in a three-yard pass to senior receiver DeAndre’ Smith(District Heights, Md./Wise), pulling the Dukes to within 16-13 with 5:15 to go.

Redshirt sophomore linebacker Gage Steele’s (Front Royal, Va./Warren County) first career interception, at the UD 45, came just 21 seconds into the Blue Hens’ ensuing possession, setting up a career-long 43-yard field goal by redshirt junior Connor Arnone (Williamsport, Md./Williamsport) that tied the affair with 2:55 to play.

The Blue Hens, who scored on a 75-yard screen pass on the game’s first play from scrimmage, capitalized on another short pass and long run, this time for an 86-yard score from Hurley to Harrison that put the visitors up 23-16 and left the Dukes only 1:37 with which to work.  It was enough, as Lee found a seam for a two-yard TD run to knot the game at 23-all with just 20 seconds remaining in regulation.

JMU slightly outgained Delaware, 489-463, including a balanced attack of 237 yards on the ground and 252 through the air. JMU was just 8-for-21 on third down conversions, while UD was 6-for-13, but held an advantage in time of possession of 32:04 to 27:56. JMU ran a school-record 99 plays compared to 65 for Delaware.

Lee rushed 19 times for 86 yards and one score and was 25-for-44 for 252 yards and one touchdown through the air. Redshirt junior tight end Deane Cheatham (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover) tied his career high set last week with six catches, for 80 yards. Smith also tied his career high of six receptions, for 55 yards and one score.

News Desk

Have a story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected] Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.